Members of the Monroe County SWAT team prepare to do a training exercise in executing a warrant. The department is seeking grants to allow for a training academy and training equipment.

ABERDEEN – The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office isn’t only seeking grant funds for a number of training supplies but also status of being a part-time training academy for part-time certified officers.

The $95,000 the MCSO is seeking is for training and training other departments, which includes equipment. The department is also seeking a grant for communication for the SWAT team and four mobile radios.

Capt. John Bishop of the MCSO is coordinating for the grants.

“We appreciate the training you do in this day in time. It’s important to keep everybody trained up. We appreciate you doing that,” said board of supervisors president Joseph Richardson during Sept. 10’s meeting.

District 5 Supervisor Hosea Bogan echoed the same sentiment.

Bishop said the training academy status will be a blessing to other departments.

“If we get that, it’s because of John. We loan him out,” said Sheriff Kevin Crook. “He trains several departments and because of that, they know him and respect him, and that puts us in a position to receive the benefits from that. Instead of going to other places in the state, the state can come to us.”

Delinquent garbage bills

Supervisors held a due process hearing regarding a delinquent garbage bill concern of Cheryl Johnson. She and her husband purchased property in 2012, and there was a mobile home on adjourning property at the time.

After the resident moved with the mobile home in 2018, the land, formerly owned by her father, was deeded over to her. Earlier this year, she received two solid waste bills, with one addressed to the owner of the mobile home care of the Johnsons.

“We’re productive citizens, and I have a $1,500 bill,” she said. “I’ve heard about this law, and it’s not right. It’s very upsetting I have a $1,500 bill that’s not mine.”

State law links delinquent garbage bills to addresses rather than to the owners of properties. Three Rivers Planning and Development District’s LexisNexis system has detected several delinquent bills throughout the past few years, prompting residents to appear before the board for garbage issues.

Earlier this year, supervisors hired attorney Don Baker to be the county’s solid waste hearing officer. He recused himself from the matter because he found this particular title search, according to board discussion.

Board attorney David Houston will research the Johnson’s issue but he is not confident there’s a way around the bill. Supervisors expressed their frustration about the state law, adding they have talked to legislators about issues they’ve heard from residents.

“We keep saying the law, and the law is the law. What these cats did was make an easy way out to not look for that renter. They tied it to the landowner, and the landowner isn’t going to turn that land away,” Bogan said about the Mississippi Legislature.

Supervisors said they’re on the Johnson’s side and if there’s a way to help, they will. County officials said since she knows where the person who generated the delinquent garbage bills lives, it was noted to ask Three Rivers about potential avenues to collect.

Supporting the Sea Cadets

Laron Griffin, who volunteers with the local Sea Cadet unit, requested the board’s financial support of the program.

The U.S. Navy-based program holds drills typically the second weekend of each month at Amory’s National Guard Armory. Cadets, who are ages 10-18, learn a number of skills such as leadership and self discipline.

“We need all the help we can get, and it takes a village. So many times, we wait until they’re on the wrong side of the tracks and it’s too late,” he said.

The program currently has 10 cadets, and the most previous drill included first aid lessons and guest speakers representing law enforcement and military recruiters. With the current number of cadets, the average cost for a drill is $200 to $300. Griffin noted Piggly Wiggly and several local churches donated for the last drill.

Supervisors approved to donate $500 each from his rural recreation funds.

In other business

County road manager Daniel Williams said casings were to be poured this week for the Weaver Creek bridge and he hopes it will reopen to traffic soon.

Following a public hearing, supervisors approved several items pertaining to the Fiscal Year ’22 budget. There will be no millage increase for the upcoming fiscal year.

Supervisors approved an order for board president Joseph Richardson to sign applications for Rural Fire Truck Acquisition Assistance Program funds for pumper trucks for Bethlehem and Hatley volunteer fire departments. The board also approved a resolution to request a grant to purchase a fire truck for the Nettleton Fire Department.

One bid was opened for less than an acre of surplus property alongside Highway 25 near the Monroe County Government Complex in Amory. Supervisors accepted the bid, which was $12,000.

Industrial dumping receipts reflective of August for the Monroe County Landfill totaled $3,580

Supervisors approved to advertise for a dirt pan for the landfill.

The total number of meals served to prisoners at the Monroe County Detention Center was 11,154.

Supervisors approved a motion fully executing a solid waste assistance grant totaling $18,843 for the county’s solid waste enforcement officer program.

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